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Halo: Combat Evolved
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is very popular, and it's likely that your child will have access to play or at least observe this game at some point. Most of the game consists of fighting in a non-stop, science-fiction-based battle against aliens. Blood and violence abound, making it best for those 16 and up.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
HALO takes place in the future, where humans are fighting a losing battle against the technologically superior \"covenant,\" a group of alien beings driven by radical religious beliefs to destroy all humans. To make things worse, it appears they have found a new weapon of incredible power: \"HALO,\" a mysterious and massive ring/space station orbiting a foreign world. As the game progresses, the player discovers an enemy even worse than the covenant: It would seem that while the covenant was attempting to activate halo, they inadvertently released \"the flood,\" a vicious alien life form that survives by taking over the body of an organic host and then spreading to the next victim. Once released, \"the flood\" immediately begins possessing the covenant and humans alike, and the player realizes \"the flood\" must be stopped to prevent the destruction of the entire galaxy.
Is it any good?
As first-person-shooter games go, HALO was inventive for its time, and even now, it's a graphically appealing game. The game has an interesting and mysterious story, and allows the player to pilot and drive cool vehicles, and be immersed in a massive battle around a foreign planet. But the game has the same pitfall as many other first-person-shooter games: Ninety-five percent of the game is simply shooting things that get in your way.
The game tells a very dark tale, and most of the game consists of one continuous battle with plenty of blood, screams of agony and explosions. HALO is a first-person, shoot-everything-that-moves type of game. The action is infectious, and the story, while somewhat typical, is well-written and interesting. Plenty of bloodshed and a storyline that will most definitely scare younger players relegates this game to the 16+ crowd of gamers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why this game has become one of -- if not the most -- popular action game franchises of this generation. Is the sci-fi story so much better than other games? Does the level of violence make a game like this more immersive than its competitors? Is blood necessary in a 3-D shooter or is falling down enough to confirm the enemy is dead?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.